competition in China’s King of Bots with a crusher that
boasts 14 tons of force.
A crusher may sound like a wantonly destructive
mechanism fit only for a combat robot, but, in fact,
Early geared devices designed to increase torque
for high force applications — such as Renaissance
mining devices — feature cylindrical teeth that look a
bit stubby compared to the gear tooth design we all
know and love today. The modern gear tooth design
is the involute gear profile.
An involute of a circle is that path that you would
trace if you had a taut string wrapped around the
circle and wound or unwound it. Think of a tetherball
on the school playground; the tighter and tighter
circle it makes as the tether wraps around the pole —
that’s an involute path. Involute gears are so named
because the contact point between the teeth occurs
on involute paths of the adjacent gear teeth. This
sophisticated tooth profile ensures that force is
transferred efficiently between the gears with
minimal speed or torque variations. The teeth on the
gears of the ServoCity gearbox are wonderful
examples of involute teeth. But again — will they
Cruising for a Crushing
The first order of business was to select a
platform upon which to build our crushing robot. We
56 SERVO 03.2018
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FORTIFYING OUR VEX BASE.
AN ASSEMBLED GEARBOX.
ACCESSORIZING THE GEARBOX.